Fantasy football, but for VC investing 💸

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Hi Sifted Reader,

We've got a new columnist here at Sifted! Rosie Wood, a newbie VC in London, will be chronicling her journey through the world of venture capital in a new column. In today's newsletter, read about her first week in the job, plus...
  • More trouble at Gorillas
  • Try fantasy startup investing
  • Healthtech startup ideas from top investors
  • Why the future might not be too bright for Amazon aggregators

\Consumer

Gorillas founder talked of “terminating” employee attempting to unionise

Gorillas CEO Kağan Sümer talked about firing a worker who was trying to unionise, according to leaked internal Slack messages.

The revelations will add to existing tensions between management and staff at the somewhat beleaguered $3bn speedy grocery company.

See the leaked Slack message — and what it could mean.

\Venture Capital

Fantasy football is so 2000s. Try fantasy startup investing.


The NFT craze just got very, very meta.

Visionrare, a new NFT-based virtual startup investing game, launches today. It’s like being a VC — players scout companies, place bets, watch them boom or bust — without any of the pitching, term sheets or… real equity.

Instead, there's crypto to be won.

How fun is it to play? And why should startups care?

\Our latest report 

Video games: from nuisance to teacher’s pet?


Sifted’s Game On report is finally here. Read all about how educators used games to make lessons more interactive during the pandemic — and why the industry is projected to surpass $200bn in 2023. 

Read all about it here.

\Venture Capital 

Dispatches from a new VC: cruelty-free kombucha and Peloton


Sifted is excited to welcome a new regular columnist, Rosie Wood, who’s just joined London VC firm Mild Conviction as an associate. She’ll be sharing her journey in the industry — oversized Patagonia fleeces and six-hour board meetings included!

Mild Conviction isn’t like a normal VC firm — the team don’t need to do a ton of due diligence to decide on an investment. Instead, they’re simply looking for companies and founders that are pretty good. Because pretty good is usually good enough. 

Read how her very first week as a VC went.

\For Members Healthtech 

Six healthtech startup ideas from top healthtech investors


Europe has seen transformative innovation in healthtech over the past decade, turbocharged by the pandemic.

But what have European healthtech founders not built yet? We asked top health-focused VCs what ideas they haven't yet seen in a pitch deck — but would like to.

Here are six of their bright ideas.

If you're not yet a Sifted member, subscribe here for as little as £19 per month.

\Consumer 

“In 18 months, there will be bloodshed” — what’s next for Amazon aggregators?


Investors are pouring billions into Europe's Amazon aggregator businesses — last month investors put $1.1bn into the sector in Europe in a single day. 

But as Amazon seller valuations soar, could it all come crashing down? 

\Sponsored by ProjectA

More than just money: How VCs can actually help startups succeed


All money is good money, right? Not really — choosing a VC who actually understands your business is much more important. VCs need to help startups, without smothering them.

So what does the perfect startup-VC project look like?

News that Matters

💸 VC firm Eight Roads has launched its fourth fund, of $450m, for European and Israeli scaleups. Notable portfolio companies include used car marketplace Cazoo, database startup Neo4j and ecommerce giant Made.com.

🍝 Cala, a French startup that runs a robot-operated pasta restaurant in Paris, has raised £5.5m in a round led by Backed VC. It says the robot can help save 60% on real estate costs.

🎮 Axie Infinity, a blockchain-enabled video game, has raised $150m in VC funding, led by a16z, The Information reported. It's a Singaporean-Vietnamese company, but one of its founders is from Norway.

🤑 Anyfin, a Swedish startup that enables consumers to refinance their existing loans, has raised $52m to fuel its growth across Europe. The round was led by New York-based investor FinTech Collective.

📚 Inkitt, a startup offering a free platform for anyone to write and publish stories, has raised a $59m Series B round, led by NEA and publishing giant Axel Springer.

📊 Graph database company Memgraph has raised $9.3m, led by Microsoft's M12. The company offers real time graph databases, which are used in many computer applications.

🤖 Germany's Fruitcore Robotics has raised €17m from early-stage VC firm UVC Partners and btov Industrial Technologies Fund. The company works on industrial robotics solutions.

Sifted Suggests

🔍 Looking for tech talent? Or to relocate? Here's how to use our UK Startup Explorer map, which lets you virtually travel around 21 of the biggest startup hubs in the UK.

💰 How Holvi bounced back from an awkward acquisition. The Finnish fintech lost 60% of its customers after buying itself out from Spanish bank BBVA, but it's now making more money, planning a credit card launch, a fundraise and an IPO.

🌱 The hottest seed investments last month. September was a strong month for European seed investments: here Sifted tracks the most exciting rounds and breaks down the data on the month.
Amy Lewin
Deputy Editor

Get in touch with her at amy@sifted.eu
She loves a bit of reader feedback.
Freya Pratty
News Reporter

Send her your news at freya@sifted.eu
Or find her (occasionally) tweeting @FPratty
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